Shopping cart software typically allows visitors to an eCommerce store to select products, place orders, and make payments. However, most software products in this category nowadays do more than just accepting payments and collecting shipping addresses from customers. Almost all modern programs can calculate shipping charges on the basis of total billing amounts, number of items ordered, shipping destination and weight of the products. Some shopping carts even calculate taxes based on the buyer’s ZIP code. More advanced features include identifying repeat customers, allowing customers to check order histories and current order status, promoting products through social media and the ability to create, maintain and update product databases. Read the full software guide...
A shopping cart is an online software product that stores the items that a buyer has indicated interest in purchasing. When a shopper clicks on a product’s “add to cart” (or similar variation) button, that particular item is sent to their personal online cart. A buyer can then choose to purchase the item or keep it stored while looking for other products.
Aside from allowing a buyer to review selected items, a shopping cart is also used to modify selections or orders. This includes functions such as changing and adding products, the quantities of said products, and more.
Once the order is final, a shopping cart helps facilitate the next steps—disseminating buyer information and forwarding payment to the client, merchant, or third party processor.
A shopping cart makes it easier for online shops and their buyers to communicate with each other when a transaction is being processed. In certain ways, it works like real-world supermarket carts but it does more than just gather the products a buyer intends to buy. A shopping cart software is also a clearance area (for the items about to be purchased), a machine for credit card transactions, and a cash register, delivered as an all-in-one solution.
Online shops need shopping carts that suit certain needs and specifications, especially since the goal is to sell. Thus, matching the virtual shop with the right cart is essential.
There are two general types of shopping carts buyers can choose from: hosted and self-hosted.
Hosted shopping carts are the more popular type that most online sellers use. They are hosted by a third party company or firm, which is responsible for keeping the software updated and in good condition. These off-the-shelf carts are simple-to-use as everything is pre-made, so all that sellers need to do is use the provided template to create a new store on their website.
Some of the most popular hosted shopping carts are:
SALESmanago – SALESmanago is cloud-based and is ideal for all types of businesses: small, medium, and large enterprises, as well as freelancers. One of its main tasks is to automate the sales process, which means business leaders and sales personnel can allot more time to other essential day-to-day processes. SALESmanago can also be used for carrying out marketing campaigns.
Ozcart E-commerce – Ozcart E-commerce is a shopping cart software initially intended for Australians, however, it recently branched out to serve customers in other parts of the world. As a one-stop-shop for virtual stores, Ozcart has the features that help make a shopping cart not only efficient but also convenient. Even if it is a hosted software, sellers are assured to enjoy all the best features, including those that are usually offered for an extra fee in other shopping cart platforms. Ozcart also offers outstanding personal service to its clients.
StoreYa – StoreYa has a lot of features and tools that online stores need. It utilizes group deals, coupons, and other similar items via various social marketing tools. It also allows virtual shops to connect with their Facebook pages.
Self-hosted shopping carts are the exact opposite as sellers have the freedom to work on their own carts. After downloading the software, they can take control of it and manage it. These carts are customizable so making sure they fit the online shop’s cart needs is easy.
Here are examples of self-hosted shopping carts:
MoonClerk – MoonClerk is intended for small and medium-sized businesses looking for a flexible online payment system that can be set up in a matter of minutes. One of its strengths is its simple technology, which does not require a background or knowledge of coding. It also has features like custom and pre-designed themes, as well as CSS design control.
Magento – Magento is one of the most popular and widely used e-commerce platforms. It is intended for professional businesses and for users with somewhat of a background in technology and e-commerce.
X-Cart – X-Cart actually has both a self-hosted and hosted shopping cart. This one is ideal even for those with no technical background. It also makes customization easy because it allows users to use templates when designing their carts. Another advantage of using X-Cart is the fact that its products can actually be downloaded. Users, however, have to pay a one-time fee (excluding technical support services).
PrestaShop – PrestaShop’s biggest advantage is that it is easy and free to use. It is also an open source platform. Additionally, this shopping cart software offers sellers the option to make use of the services of their partner agencies, who can then help create their shops for them.
Plug & Paid – Plug & Paid allows web page administrators and webmasters the freedom of creating peer-to-peer shopping opportunities for sellers. In addition, if you already have a website, you can set up your shopping cart without changing anything about it. Plug & Paid’s button builder is also helpful for those who want personalized plugins.
As previously mentioned, choosing the right shopping cart for your online shop is important. However, with all the choices in the market, deciding which one to go for can be confusing and difficult—but not if you know what you are looking for.
Here are tips you need to keep in mind to make sure you choose the right shopping cart software for your online shop.
— Choose one that is simple and easy to use. Go for software that does not require you to possess high-tech skills and knowledge. Also, be sure that a free trial is available so you can check out if it matches your store’s needs before committing.
— Choose one that offers unlimited bandwidth, storage, and products. This is the most convenient option if you want a solution that makes for a good and long-lasting investment.
— Choose one that offers useful features like discounts for products—and for the whole online store. Software that uses coupons is also good, just be sure it provides a limit for coupons usage per buyer.
— Choose one that integrates a variety of marketing features and tools. A shopping cart software that can send out email campaigns and work with a good customer relationship management or CRM software is ideal if you want the best investment for your e-commerce site.
— Choose one that integrates inventory management options. Proper inventory management is essential in maintaining good customer relations and in ensuring profitability.
— Choose one that will allow you to ship products to your customers using highly trusted international carriers or shippers. This feature will make delivery of your items more efficient and convenient—both for you and for your customers.
— Choose one that will allow you to sell to international buyers. For this, you will need a shopping cart software that provides support for international currency and language.
— Choose one that provides tools for checking orders, sales, conversion rates, and store traffic. A reporting tool will keep you constantly updated with your online shop’s developments.
A reliable shopping cart software is essential in guaranteeing efficiency and convenience for e-commerce businesses, as well as for buyers. Likewise, it promotes good buying and selling practices and therefore helps uplift the e-commerce industry.
Online shops that use shopping cart software can provide information about the product or products that can help buyers come up with a sound purchasing decision. In addition, it allows customers to manage their orders by giving them the freedom to add to or edit items. Lastly, it helps online businesses manage and track orders, deliveries, and stocks, while also giving them a solid platform for customer management.
|API||Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.|
|BitCoin||BitCoin support - a digital currency operating independently of a central bank.|
|Customer Management||Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.|
|Data Export||Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.|
|Data Import||Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Inventory Tracking||Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.|
|Marketing Automation||Automate marketing processes, such as outreach emails, customer engagement, chat replies through the use of chatbots and others.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Notifications||Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.|
|Order management||Manage the fulfilment of sales and orders for goods and services.|
|PayPal||PayPal support allowing for the transfer funds electronically or online payments.|
|SAP Integration||Integrates with common SAP services.|
|Shipping Management||Automate time-consuming shipping issues for goods manufacturers and vendors.|
|Stripe||Stripe support as a payment gateway allowing you to accept payments online and via mobile apps.|
|Supplier Management||Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.|
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